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Update 11/07/12: Malone University still publicizes itself as a born again Christian school. Yet today I noticed Malone’s library has a display of 13 books by Emergent heretic Tony Campolo. Why? Read on.
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On 10/28/12 The Repository ran an article by Denise Sautters entitled “King era begins at Malone.” Towards the end of the article, I was struck by a comment from Dr. David King, being inaugurated 10/28/12 as Malone’s 13th president (1). (The latter part of this press release explains the presidential search process by Malone’s Board of Trustees; the press release does not mention how many of the Trustees were on the search committee.) Dr. King states:

“… [having time at a university before one’s inauguration] gives the president time to … develop a vision for the university.”

With all due respect, how biblically sound is Dr. King’s vision for Malone University? (2) Does it match the original vision of J. Walter Malone, the university’s founder? Based on his first year at Malone (prior to his inauguration), my impression is that Dr. King (along with a number of other presidents, faculty and staff) is taking Malone down a theological path far different from that envisioned by J. Walter Malone. I truly believe that J. Walter Malone’s dream for a born again, separatist Fundamentalist, Wesleyan Holiness, Evangelical Friends theological legacy is very close to being lost. (In addition, various heresies are entering the EFC-ER through routes other than Malone University.) How tragic!

Question: Emergent heretic Tony Campolo spoke at Malone University 09/28/12. Does this provide clues to new president Dr. King’s “vision for the university”? Read on…
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Tony Campolo Like many discerning Christians (especially “fundies”/fundamentalists), I was shocked and angered by Charita Goshay’s prominent article favoring Emergent heretic Tony Campolo in The Repository Saturday 09/29/12. Her article summarized Campolo’s speech to Malone University students 09/28/12. (Malone University is an Evangelical Friends/EFCI school; Tony Campolo taught at new Malone president David King’s former school – Eastern University.)

“Church articles” are usually hidden away on the inside pages of The Repository‘s Section B each Saturday, on the so called “Faith and Values” pages. Yet Ms. Goshay’s article was prominently displayed on the front page of Section B (along with a blurb on the newspaper’s front page pointing readers to the article about Campolo). Apparently Ms. Goshay (and/or The Repository) knows that Campolo is a popular speaker. I am very disappointed – and angry – that Goshay did not write a more objective article, pointing out Campolo’s heresies and including statements from opponents.

Another problem – for me Goshay’s article raises more questions than it answers. For starters:

1) Was this event publicized beforehand, or was it an “inside event” only publicized to Malone students and parents? If  Campolo’s speech was not publicized on a wider scale, why wasn’t it?

I did find this description of the event here, in the Schedule for Parents’ Weekend:

2-3 p.m. [Fri. 09/28/12] –  Tony Campolo Speaking, Johnson Center Sanctuary. Dr. Campolo is a speaker, author, sociologist, and pastor. Over his many years of Christian service, Tony has boldly challenged millions of people all over the world to respond to God’s boundless love by combining personal discipleship, evangelism, and social justice. He will speak and then take time for questions from our students.

Note Malone’s positive description of Campolo. They could have said something like “this controversial Emergent leader is coming to Malone to debate his liberal views with Malone’s Professor so-and-so” (ala Brian McLaren’s debate at Malone). Yet Malone did not say this with Campolo.

2) Goshay’s article consists almost entirely of “born again Christianese” quotes from Campolo. Yet Campolo is an extremely heretical Emergent, on par with Brian McLaren, Leonard Sweet, etc. Did Goshay leave out Campolo’s mainline/liberal/Emergent statements, or was Campolo’s entire speech “born again Christianese”?

4) Is Campolo’s entire speech (or a transcript of it) available online?

5) Did any Malone students protest Campolo’s coming to speak? (If so I’d like to meet them – we have a kindred spirit.)

6) In Campolo’s Q&A session, were opponents allowed to voice their  concerns about his heresies?

7) What individual(s) invited Campolo to come speak at Malone? Did the individual(s) not know that Campolo had a theological stance (heretical Emergent teachings) incompatible with what Malone has claimed to believe at least in the past? (For example, Campolo’s favoring the LGBT movement – an issue Malone has claimed it opposes.) Malone does seem to be changing in various ways – I’m not sure what specific individuals are pushing this change. (Check out their current Mission and Foundational Principles, for example.)

8) David King was recently hired as Malone University President. King was previously an employee of Eastern University, where the heretical Campolo taught for ten years. (In fact, the graduate department at Eastern University is named after Campolo.) Did King’s coming to Malone have anything to do with Campolo coming to speak?  Or was that just a coincidence? (And how about Betsy Morgan, professor emerita of English at EU, coming to speak at Dr. King’s Inaugural Symposium – was that also just a coincidence?)

Campolo Emergent and heretical

Just how Emergent/heretical is Tony Campolo? Here’s a clue: Campolo is an ordained minister in the mainline/liberal American Baptist Churches USA denomination. Note this description of the denomination, found here:

Generally considered more liberal than the Southern Baptist Convention, the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A. is a member of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. and of the World Council of Churches. It has taken an active part in ecumenical affairs and has worked for closer union among the various Baptist groups.

In 1998 the denomination adopted an “American Baptist Identity Statement” that sought to summarize the Christian faith representative of American Baptists. This was amended in 2005 to include a statement about homosexuality…

“Fundies” have a right to be critical of Campolo. In his book Letters to a Young Evangelical (2006), Campolo devotes Chapter 9 to describing and criticizing Fundamentalists. The chapter is entitled “Being Rescued from Fundamentalism”; the entire chapter is viewable online. Malone University was strongly separatist fundamentalist Wesleyan Holiness between approx. 1892-1942. Any Malone alumnus who loves Evangelical Friends of this time period should be offended by Campolo’s criticisms of fundamentalism.

For those who are still not convinced that Campolo is extremely heretical, consider these quotes from Campolo (click here for another blog of mine dealing with Campolo and other Emergents):

“Going to heaven is like going to Philadelphia… There are many ways…It doesn’t make any difference how we go there. We all end up in the same place.” 1a

“On the other hand, we are hard-pressed to find any biblical basis for condemning deep love commitments between homosexual Christians as long as those commitments are not expressed in sexual intercourse.” 1b

“But the overwhelming population of the gay community that love Jesus, that go to church, that are deeply committed in spiritual things, try to change and can’t change…” 1c

“…we want to see God at work converting society, converting the systems, so that there aren’t the racist overtones, the economic injustices, the polluting of the atmosphere.” 1d

“I learn about Jesus from other religions. They speak to me about Christ, as well.”1e

“I’m not convinced that Jesus only lives in Christians.” 1f

1a CarpeDiem: Seize the Day, 1994 page 85;
1b “20 Hot Potatoes Christians Are Afraid To Touch” page 117;
1c Beliefnet.com/faith/Christianity 08/2004;
1d MSNBC 2008 interview;
1e MSNBC 2008 interview;
1f Charlie Rose show 1/24/97

(Tony Campolo is an author, professor of Sociology at Eastern College, former spiritual counselor to President Bill Clinton, and a leader of the movement called “Red Letter Christians”.)

Campolo’s lack of adherence to Eastern University’s Doctrinal Statement

(Click here for the Doctrinal Statement and ending Sections; to me the Doctrinal Statement sounds biblically sound for the most part – even if many Eastern University employees do not truly follow it)

Note the following two sections below. David King and Tony Campolo had to sign Eastern University’s Doctrinal Statement annually. I don’t know much about King, but it is obvious from Campolo’s writings that Campolo (like many employees of the liberal Eastern University I’m sure) does not hold the born again Christian beliefs stated in the Doctrinal Statement. Yet Campolo taught at Eastern University for ten years; they even honored him by naming their graduate college after him.

Apparently signing the Doctrinal Statement is like taking an oath in court (“I promise to tell the truth… so help me God”), or like making a wedding vow (“I promise to love you… till death do us part”). Signing Eastern University’s Doctrinal Statement annually seems to mean nothing to many employees there. I believe signing a Doctrinal Statement such as this, when you do not truly believe it, is a very serious offense against the Lord.

[In the excerpts below, I have emphasized certain points by bolding.]

SECTION II

Every member of the Board of Trustees, every administrative officer of the Institution, professor, teacher, and instructor shall annually subscribe over his or her signature to the Doctrinal Statement, excepting only that a non-Baptist individual occupying any of the foregoing positions shall not be required to subscribe to that part of the Doctrinal Statement regarding the mode of water baptism.

SECTION III

Whenever a member of the Board of Trustees, administrative officer, professor, teacher or instructor is not in complete accord with the foregoing Doctrinal Statement, he or she shall forthwith withdraw from all connections with the University, and his or her failure to do so shall constitute grounds for immediate removal from such positions by the Trustees.

ENDNOTES

(1) Malone’s 13 presidents are:
1) J. Walter Malone (1892-1918)
2) Edgar Wollam (1918-1921)
3) C.W. Butler (1921-1936)
4) Worthy A. Spring (1936-1948)
5) G. Arnold Hodgin (1948-1951)
6) Byron L. Osborne (1951-1960)
7) Everett L. Cattell (1960-1972)
8) Lon Randall (1972-1981)
9) Gordon R. Werkema (1981-1988)
10) Arthur Self (1988-____)
11) Ron Johnson (____-____)
12)  Gary W. Streit (_____-2010)
12a) Provost Will Friesen, Ph.D., Interim (2010-2012)
13) Dr. David King, (2012-     )

Sources: #1-7: Ohio Yearly Meeting Quaker Sesqui-centennial Commemorative publication, 1962, p.  43
#8,9: EFC-ER 175th Anniversary Commemorative publication, 1987, p. 32
#9:  Founded by Friends: The Quaker Heritage of Fifteen American Colleges and Universities, by John William Oliver, Charles L. Cherry, Caroline L. Cherry, 1970. p. 215 (viewable online)
#10,11: personal conversations with Malone associates
#12,12a: Malone University Welcomes 13th President: David King

(2) Another clue concerning Dr. King’s vision for Malone – and Malone’s vision for itself – is given here:

According to Board Chair Steven Steer, “Dr. King’s depth and breadth of experience seem to have converged with Malone’s vision for the future in a divine appointment.” King says it was Malone’s foundational principals that speak to the integration of faith, learning, and experiential activism that ultimately drew him to the University. Those words resonated within him, and it has not taken him long to embrace the University’s mission as his own.

Frankly, this sounds rather ambiguous to me. To get more specific, it seems to me Malone and Dr. King are pushing the envelope of contemplative spirituality (ala Richard Foster) and the Emerging/Emergent movement.

FOR FURTHER READING

I will be compiling a list of discernment articles about Tony Campolo’s heresies and providing the links here. For starters:

Apprising Ministries – various discernment blogs about Campolo

Let Us Reason Ministries – various articles about Campolo

Lighthouse Trails – article about Campolo

Manny Silva – various  discernment blogs about Campolo

A list of Google hits – articles about Campolo’s endorsement of occultish, contemplative centering prayer (click here for a discernment article exposing centering prayer)

Eastern University’s ringing endorsement of their Emergent darling Tony Campolo

2007: Mennonite Emergent Conversation (with representatives mostly from the liberal Mennonite Church USA denomination) held at Eastern University

2008: Campolo’s stint as featured speaker at 2008 Yearly Meeting of NWYM (the most liberal/Emergent Region of the Evangelical Friends denomination)

2012: Eastern University receives a grant to study occultish contemplative labyrinth prayer

The Repository‘s article mentions that Campolo has written 39 books. I am looking for a complete list of his writings (hopefully with content viewable online). (Admittedly, Campolo is a very readable writer; his books explain heretical Emergent teachings in laymen’s terms.)

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[blog under construction – revised 03/15/12]

I recently learned the Canton (Ohio) Repository has a blogger who is writing about the paranormal on this blogsite.

I am extremely upset with The Repository – supposedly a family-friendly newspaper. Recently they had a contest to select “community bloggers” for their website. They picked this paranormal blogger as one of the winners. Now his garbage is a regular topic on their website, under the title of “Paranormal Journeys.” I am writing this blog not only to express my own anger, but to make others (Christians especially) in the community aware of this abomination.

Inclusion of this blogger on The Repository website is “a slap in the face” to all the born again Christian churches which give business to The Repository by advertising in The Repository “Faith and Values” section each Saturday. I would encourage every attender of these churches to stop subscribing to The Repository and protest loudly until this blogger is removed.

To try to comply with copyright rules, I am copying and pasting several entire “Paranormal Journeys” blogs without omissions, with links to the original source. However, I am adding a bit – I am emphasizing certain points by bolding, and inserting comments in [brackets].

Following is the first “Paranormal Journey” blog (click here for the original location.)

Introduction
By Ken Roberts (Feb 29, 2012)

Welcome to the world of the paranormal, Poe, horror and the unknown. By way of introduction let me give you a little background on myself. My wife, Margarita and I own the Warehouse on the Canal building located in downtown Canal Fulton aka; The Warehouse or The Haunted Warehouse. The Edgar Allan Poe Theater is located within the Warehouse and the Warehouse has become Ohio’s Center for Poe, Ghosts and Horror. We created the original ghost tours in the downtown area of Canal Fulton and since 2003 our Warehouse Ghost Tours has attracted people from all over due to our refreshing and unique approach to the paranormal where our customers will witness or experience for themselves a paranormal encounter. Our tours are described as an, “enlightening and spiritual journey “as compared to the standard scary ghost event. We have created what may be the first of its kind, a Team Building exercise through the use of the paranormal and a tourism marketing umbrella called, The Warehouse / Dead and Loving It Tourism. We work with researchers on the paranormal including near death studies and other research institutions that we will be sharing along with an insight as seen through the eyes of a psychic medium with over 50 years of experience, talking about the most often asked questions, food for thought, ghost hunting, some crazy superstitions on ghosts and the customs in Victorian America, Edgar Allan Poe, horror in general, the unknown and much more. It is impossible to talk about the paranormal without the inclusion of a psychic medium. Those who are passionate about the paranormal are just as passionate as those who are about football, basketball, etc. and the same respect should be extended.

We are a Christian based company [what? excuse me? did I read this correctly? this really ticks me off as a born again Christian; how dare this blogger say his company is “Christian based”] and the topic of ghosts is one subject matter that invites opinions and positions of all kinds as well as pushing your hot buttons. We are going to provide both a traditional and a new perspective on the paranormal, so, I hope to hear from you and what you think.

At a later date we will announce a fun pot luck get together that will include full ghost discussions and a ghost experience event at the Warehouse. Depending upon the number of people that might be interested, we will need to address how the invites will be made later on, so, stay connected.

The following “Paranormal Journey” blogs are especially angering to me:

The Mother of all Hot Buttons: Ghosts + Psychic Mediums vs the Bible
By Ken Roberts (Mar 11, 2012)

The mother of all hot buttons:

Ghosts + Psychic Mediums vs. the Bible

It may or may not be what you thought Series

 Part 1:

 Why raise this Hot Button?

 It is impossible to talk about ghosts and a psychic medium without this issue coming up. Rather than to try to put on a veil of uncertainty or to skirt around the issue, I thought that it would be more respectful to bring it out in the open and allow for you to express your opinions either for it or against it.

 Repercussions:

 Depending upon your position taken; if you run across someone that knows who you are, you may get a response anywhere from a thumbs up or a “Thank you” to someone holding up two fingers in the sign of a cross.

 Who am I?

 I am a Catholic and in my younger days I was in the seminary to become a priest. [I’m not surprised by this – many Catholics speak highly of apparitions of  Mary, as well as visions and direct messages from Jesus, saints and angels. These are all occult, demonic counterfeits.] I have been happily married to the same person for over 30 years with two married children and two granddaughters.  I try to respect the rights of all people and sometimes supporting those opinions people can claim that they are contrary to what the Bible is telling them. For the past 30 years we have been continually involved in community and charity work helping to make a difference in the lives of others.

 What does the church say?

 I am only commenting on what the Catholic Church says at this time. In talking to a Monsignor he told me that the Church’s “official” position is that they recognize the presence of “spirit energies” (ghosts)[I’m going to try to locate this “official position” online. The Catholic Church is known for performing exorcisms – but these are exorcisms of demons. I do not give weight to the words of Catholic authorities, but to the Bible. The Bible tells us “familiar spirits” ( so-called “ghosts”) are demonic, fallen angels, not spirits of deceased people.] What is important is not that they exist, but, how you view them or how they will interfere with your relationship with God. [Familiar spirits will interfere with your relationship with God!!! They will deceive you and destroy you by leading you straight down the occult, New Age path to Hell and the Lake of Fire for eternity.] 

Who comes to a Ghost Tour?

 It is people that represent every demographic, cultural and theological background possible. To our specific Warehouse Ghost Tours that we bill as, “an enlightening and spiritual journey”, we attract all walks of life that have included having had priests, nuns, pastors and ministers representing almost every church denomination along with members of their church and congregations including even those that profess to be non-believers in almost everything. They did so without the fear of jeopardizing or questioning their own beliefs, standards and morals. [All I can say, is, these religious people are either nonchristians or disobedient born again Christians. The Bible specifically forbids exploration of/contact with the supernatural realm of familiar spirits.]

 So that there are no misunderstandings whatsoever, there is one position that we take without compromise; under no circumstances should you put anyone or anything before God regardless of what denomination that you belong too. [I’m not sure what this blogger is trying to say here; I think he is trying to say “don’t worship familiar spirits.”]

 Let’s get started:

 When it comes to the paranormal there is no more controversy and heated emotions than when the Bible is quoted; especially, when a psychic medium is mentioned. [I can think of many more controversial and widely debated topics than psychic mediums – such as the existence of Hell, eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire, etc.] When asked most have no idea of where it is in the Bible, but, just assume that it is there because people have told them so. Just for the record, there are multiple mentions in the Bible referencing a medium.

(critique to be continued…)

 

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